UK Firm of the Year 2012: Openness
10 February 2012
It's no wonder law firms are seen as opaque, given their management teams of mystic untouchables and the tendency for associates to vanish overnight. And whilst every firm lays claim to an "open-door policy", there are clearly some where partners still whisper in the corridors.
A gold star goes to Reynolds Porter Chamberlain
, which topped the satisfaction survey with a solid 84%. RPC came in for particular praise for taking associates' suggestions seriously, and for having both a "clear and ambitious strategy
" and an "open culture
Firm of the Year winner Ince & Co
was also a top scorer, with praise for its partners who "listen to staff and try to keep them informed
" - even if that means that "gossip travels quickly
". Kudos also to "open and structured
" Latham, where "partners are very approachable and are very aware of everyone's efforts
". And well done to "open and honest
" Taylor Wessing
, which "really makes you feel as if you are included in the "vision" for the firm
Special mentions go to Burges Salmon
, where, it was claimed, each trainee was given a copy of "a book called "How to Talk About Burges Salmon
", to Charles Russell
which is "open to entrepreneurial ways of finding new business
" and to "open-minded
" Lewis Silkin, which gives staff "freedom to implement new initiatives
Towards the bottom of the charts, Field Fisher Waterhouse
came in for particular scorn for being "often secretive about future plans
" and having an "opaque
" firm strategy which "management is particularly poor at disseminating
was slammed for its "piss poor...attempts to communicate events
", which are "too late (after widespread rumours) and completely mis-judge how things will be received.
" One mid-level associate claimed the firm suffers from a "lack of innovation or clear approach to improving business performance
" and another senior associate said "communication between senior management and staff (although better than it was) is still not great
". Otherwise, fine.
Golden Turd winner Dickinson Dees was second from bottom, although there have apparently been attempts recently to improve transparency, they were felt to have led to "excessive amounts of red tape
". One lone associate claimed that there was "good communication at all levels
". Perhaps someone needs to update him.
Right at the bottom came Dundas & Wilson, which combines a "poisonous atmosphere
" and "infighting and back-stabbing
". Maybe the result of its "really shoddy
" internal communications. Whatever the reason, its 32% score was both rubbish and the second-lowest score achieved by any firm in any category.